Speech and language therapy assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Speech and language therapy support worker

Speech and language therapy assistants help support people who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking or swallowing.

Average salary (a year)

£17,652 Starter

to

£23,761 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become a speech and language therapy assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course to get into this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

Most health and social care courses include work placements so this could be a good way of getting experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can do an advanced apprenticeship as a senior healthcare support worker.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could start as a healthcare assistant and move into speech and language therapy work, through further training and promotion.

Volunteering and experience

Employers look for relevant work experience so it would be an advantage if you have worked or volunteered in a health or social care role.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice. Do-it also has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got some of the relevant skills and experience needed for this role.

There are no set requirements but you'll usually need good literacy and numeracy skills, some employers may ask for GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

You may also need a qualification in healthcare or health and social care.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a speech and language therapy assistant from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of psychology
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

For bilingual co-worker jobs it will be essential to have the ability to speak a second community-based language.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • working with the therapist
  • working with clients on a one-to-one basis
  • group work and activities
  • providing advice on cultural and language differences (if you’re a bilingual co-worker)
  • clients with any personal needs, for example, mobility issues
  • preparing therapy rooms and equipment

Working environment

You could work at a health centre, in an NHS or private hospital, at a client's home, in a nursery or at a school.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team leader and supervise other speech and language therapy assistants. 

You could also train as an assistant practitioner and study for a foundation degree before training as a speech and language therapist.

Current opportunities

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Courses In England

BTEC Health and Social Care - Level 3 National Extended Certificate/Diploma in Health and Social Care

  • Provider: Madeley Academy
  • Start date: 04 September 2020
  • Location: Telford

BTEC Level 3 in Health and Social Care (Double)

  • Provider: The Blackpool Sixth Form College
  • Start date: 30 October 2019
  • Location: Blackpool

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